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Evidence submitted to House of Commons EFRA Committee

 

Extract from memorandum submitted by Professor Donald Knight (FL 85)

Comments on the recent floods (Summer, 2007)

 

 

(vii) My last comment on the EA is one that possibly illustrates the lack of hydraulics knowledge. In my

last letter to Reg Purnell (27/07/05), I set out 5 issues that I thought were important concerning the new R&D

arrangements. Regarding one issue I said “As you are aware, I am still somewhat concerned about the

capability of some of the senior management within the Environment Agency in this respect, particularly

when dealing with technical fluid flow issues. You have to look no further than the Jubilee channel as a

monument to the “skills shortage” within the EA. A new £90 million channel takes only 2/3 of its design

flow—how basic can you get? Especially when the EA has a new “Conveyance Estimation System”,

developed through a £0.5million R&D managed programme, and then “launched” in June 2004. But it gets

even worse, as, in another criticism of the EA, I have to say that the CES software is still not available to

anybody within the Agency or by consultants who want it, due to EA “procedures’”.

 

Extracted 8/5/2007

 

10/8/08 - 'The need to up-skill the nation's workforce' (Phil Willis MP - CMI mag)

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